NCEF Resource List: PCBs in Schools
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PCBS IN SCHOOLS

Information on identifying, assessing, and removing PCBs from school facilities, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.


References to Books and Other Media

Health Effects of PCBs Adobe PDF
(Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, 2012)
Summarizes the health effects of PCBs. 2p

The Problem of PCBs in Schools Fact Sheet Adobe PDF
(Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, 2012)
Factsheet provides an overview of the problem of PCBs in schools, describing PCBs, the extent of the problem, and resources. 5p

PCBs in Lighting Fixtures in NYC Schools
Enck, Judith
(US Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, Oct 2011)
Slide presentation on PCBs in lighting fixtures in New York City schools includes a definition, health effects, testimonials, description of EPA/NYC Pilot Project, EPA national guidance, an update on NYCs lighting replacement project, and more.

EPA/NYC PCB Pilot Program
(New York School Construction Authority, 2011)
The City of New York and the New York City School Construction Authority reached n agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 regarding the assessment and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) Caulk in public school buildings (Consent Agreement and Final Order). As a result of the agreement, the City is undertaking a comprehensive pilot study to evaluate the possible presence of PCB Caulk and preferred remedial alternatives. Includes the PCB pilot documents.

Proper Maintenance, Removal, and Disposal of PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington , 2011)
The U.S. Environmental Agency recommends removal of all pre-1979 flourescent light ballasts in schools to prevent accidental exposure of occupants to highly toxic polychlorinate biphenyls (PCB's). This web-based guide provides information to school administrators and maintenance personnel on the risks posed by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in light ballasts, how to properly handle and dispose of these items, and how to properly retrofit the lighting fixtures in schools to remove potential PCB hazards.

PCBs: Mandatory Testing in Schools
Lefkowitz, Daniel
(Daniel Lefkowitz, 2011)
Provides extensive information on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in building caulking before 1977. The effects of PCBs, testing, removal, and mandatory state programs for PCB testing are described. Includes sampling reports, media and news, photos of caulk, workplace regulations.

Facts about PCBs in Caulk.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2010)
Briefly answers questions concerning the use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in building caulk, addressing the history of their uses, testing for them, means of exposure, and abatement in advance of a renovation. 4p.

How to Test for PCBs and Characterize Suspect Materials
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2010)
Advises on how to test for the presence of PCBs in the building. The document recommends that the air is tested first to determine if PCBs may be causing a potential public health problem. This initial step may help prioritize the steps and/or approaches for the renovation or repair work. If a PCB problem is identified, it will need to be characterized to determine the extent of PCB contamination. It is important to note that even if PCBs are not present in the air, they still may be present in the caulk and/or other building materials.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs): Steps to Safe Renovation and Repair Activities.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2010)
Highlights precautionary measures and best work practices to follow when conducting a repair or renovation in older buildings where PCB-containing caulk could be encountered or where it is assumed that PCBs are present, but do not have an abatement planned. Compliance with protective regulations and techniques to prevent the spread of dust are emphasized. 7p.

Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2010)
Details four steps in a PCB abatement: 1) Prepare an abatement strategy. 2) Conduct removal and abatement activities. 3) Handle, store, and dispose of wastes. 4) Prepare and maintain documentation. 18p.

Summary of Tools and Methods for Caulk Removal.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2010)
Describes 12 tools and methods for removing building caulk, including safety precautions. 5p.

PCBs in Schools and Corporate Responsibility for Remediation: Yorktown Central School District v. Monsanto Company. Adobe PDF
Watnick, VAlerie
(University of California, Davis , 2010)
Asserts that just as concerns about lead and asbestos were raised decades ago, regulators must now act to curtail the dangers associated with PCBs in school building materials and develop a broad plan to remediate contaminated school buildings. In recent litigation involving PCBs, the Yorktown Central School District in New York State sued the U.S. makers and distributors of PCBs in federal court, urging that the sole corporate manufacturer of these chemicals should bear the burden of required remediation in the School District. At the time of the suit, the Yorktown Central School District had recently completed remediation of PCB laden caulk in all of its school buildings following the discovery of high levels of PCBs in school building materials. On the heels of these PCB clean-up efforts by the Yorktown Central School District and the School District?s federal lawsuit , in April 2008 in New York City, additional serious concerns about PCBs in schools also surfaced. The article outlines a framework for federal legislation to comprehensively address the existence of PCBs in our nation?s schools. And finally, the article asserts that there exist legal, economic and policy reasons to hold the sole corporate manufacturer of PCBs in the United States liable for remediation and other costs associated with PCBs in our schools, rather than leaving the public to pay for the associated remediation. [author's abstract] 43p.

Current Best Practices for PCBs in Caulk Fact Scheet: Disposal Options for PCBs in Caulk and PCB-Contaminated Soil and Building Materials. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Identifies for school system officials key information on disposal options for PCBs in caulk and contaminated soil and building materials. It also identifies whom to contact at EPA for advice on addressing PCBs in caulk. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 4p.

Contractors Handling PCBs in Caulk During Renovation. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Provides contractors, parents, teachers, and school administrators a general overview of the practices a contractor should consider when conducting the renovation of a building that has polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing caulk. Advice for removal in interiors and exteriors, tools and protective gear, and disposal is included. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 4p.
Report NO: EPA-747-F-09-004


Current Best Practices for PCBs in Caulk Fact Sheet: Interim Measures for Assessing Risk and Taking Action to Reduce Exposures. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Identifies for school system officials the key steps necessary to conduct a preliminary assessment of PCBs in the air in buildings, interim actions that may be taken to prevent or reduce potential exposures to building occupants until the caulk is removed, and whom to contact at EPA for advice on addressing PCBs in caulk. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 4p.

Current Best Practices for PCBs in Caulk Fact Sheet: Removal and Clean-Up of PCBs in Caulk and PCB-Contaminated Soil and Building Material. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Identifies for school system officials key information on removal and cleanup of PCBs in caulk and PCB contaminated soil and building materials. In addition, it identifies whom to contact at EPA for advice on addressing PCBs in caulk. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 3p.

Current Best Practices for PCB's in Caulk Fact Sheet: Testing in Buildings. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Supplies key information on testing for PCBs in caulk or in soil or air. Testing will determine if PCBs are present in caulk and if PCBs are present, whether the potential exposure will be dermal, from inhalation and/or from ingestion. In addition, this fact sheet identifies who to contact at EPA for advice on addressing PCBs in caulk. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 3p.

Preventing Exposure to PCBs in Caulking Material Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Summarizes the threat of PCB's in building caulk, used before 1978. Advice on testing, avoiding exposure, and protection during removal is included. 4p.
Report NO: EPA-747-F-09-005


Research on PCBs in Caulk. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Sep 2009)
Describes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research on the effects of PCB's in caulking used in school buildings, as well as mitigation strategies for caulk that cannot immediately be replaced. 2p.

Fact Sheet for Schools: Caulk Containing PCBs May Be Present in Older Schools and Buildings. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2009)
Advises on what polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are, when it was used in building caulk, how to avoid it and what to do about it if present. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 1p.
Report NO: EPA-747-F-09-003


Fact Sheet for Schools: PCBs in Caulk School Checklist. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2009)
Provides a checklist for ascertaining the potential for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in school building caulk and the risk of children's exposure . PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 1p.
Report NO: EPA-747-F-09-003


Fact Sheet for Teachers: What to Say to Children About PCBs. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2009)
Advises teachers on how to address students concerning the risk of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in building caulk. PCBs were used in caulk between 1950 and 1978, so only buildings built or renovated during those years are at risk. 1p.
Report NO: EPA-747-F-09-003


Public Health Levels for PCBs in Indoor School Air. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2009)
Explains the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's prudent public health levels for PCB exposures that are below the amount that is considered to cause harm. An explanation of how school PCB levels were determined from indoor and outdoor sources is included. 2p.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Indoor Air: Source Investigation and Remedial Approach for a Public School Building in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Adobe PDF
Sullivan, David
(www.pcbinschools.org , Aug 2008)
Describes the testing for and removal of PCB-bearing material from this school's HVAC system. Includes eight references. 6p.

Healthy Schools: Lessons for a Clean Educational Environment. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2008)
Helps school employees and parents recognize potential environmental health issues at schools, both indoors and outdoors. It includes basic information about mold, radon, VOCs, ventilation, asbestos, lead, mercury, chemicals, pesticides, PCBs, UV radiation, diesel fumes, air quality forecasts, and oil storage. Also provided are links to web sites that offer more information and guidance on how to have a healthier school environment and comply with relevant laws. 16p.

PCBs in Building Caulk.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008)
The EPA provides an overview on caulk containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that was used in some buildings, including schools, in the 1950s through the 1970s. It discusses how to minimize exposure and where more information can be obtained.

Protocol for Addressing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Caulking Materials in School Buildings.
(New York State Education Dept., Albany , Jun 2007)
Advises on testing and abatement of PCB-laden caulk typically found in school applications from 1950 to 1977. Caulk that is in place and fallen into the soil are potential sources of contamination. State and national guidelines are cited for handling theses hazardous materials. 4p.

References to Journal Articles

PCBs on Campus.
Sullivan, David M.
American School and University; , 2p. ; Apr 2011
Schools are faced with limited alternatives when handling PCB-containing building materials. This article describes several acceptable compliance options.

PCBs in Caulk: a Looming Issue for the Construction and Demolition Industry
Breslin, Mike
American Recycler; Mar 2011
Describes how polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contained in building materials, particularly caulk, are rapidly becoming a large issue for the demolition and construction industry, and for society as a whole. PCB remediation is beginning to emerge for school buildings due to growing health concerns, expanding regulations and liability issues.

What's in the Caulking?
Wallace, Amy
College Planning and Management; v13 n11 , p46,48,50 ; Nov 2010
Outlines a strategy for building renovation and demolition when the potential for caulk containing PCBs is present. PCBs were used in caulking compounds from the 1950's through the 1970's. Typical and less common locations for caulk in buildings are described, as are government regulations for the handling of PCBs in general.

PCBs in School? Persistent Chemicals, Persistent Problems.
Herrick, Robert
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy ; v20 n1 , 116-126 ; 2010
Examines a rapidly emerging base of evidence shows that PCBs can be widely found in caulking and paint in masonry buildings constructed or renovated from about 1950 to the late 1970s. These materials can cause extensive PCB contamination of the building interiors and surrounding soil, and people who teach, live, or attend school in these buildings can have elevated serum PCB levels. The potential risk associated with this source of PCB exposure is not known; however, it is worth noting that the specific PCB congeners found at high levels in the building environments, and in biological samples from the occupants, include some that are suspected of being potent neurotoxins. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving to address this issue in schools; however, the costs of remediating contaminated buildings will pose a formidable obstacle to most school districts.[author's abstract]
TO ORDER: http://baywood.metapress.com/

PCBs in Schools: What about School Maintenance Workers?
Newman, David
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy ; v20 n2 , 189-191 ; 2010
Addresses the insufficient consideration of the school maintenance workers and contractors who maintain and replace PCB caulk, even though they may constitute the school population with the highest exposures and risks. The commentary briefly assesses recent PCB-related developments at the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New York State Education Department from an occupational health perspective. [author's abstract]
TO ORDER: http://baywood.metapress.com/

An Unrecognized Source of PCB Contamination in Schools and Other Buildings.
Herrick, Robert; McClean, Michael; Meeker, John; Baxter, Lisa; Weymouth, George
Environmental Health Perspectives; v112 n10 , p1051-1053 ; Jul 2004
Reports on an investigation of 24 buildings in the Boston area revealing that one-third (8 of 24) contained caulking materials with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) content exceeding 50 ppm by weight, which is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) specified limit above which this material is considered to be PCB bulk product waste. These buildings included schools and other public buildings. In a university building where similar levels of PCB were found in caulking material, PCB levels in indoor air ranged from 111 to 393 ng/m3; and in dust taken from the building ventilation system, < 1 ppm to 81 ppm.

Handling an Emergency: A Defining Moment.
Polansky, Harvey B.; Montague, Richard
School Business Affairs; v67 n7 , p13-15 ; Jul 2001
Following a fire and a costly PCB cleanup at a Connecticut high school, the administrative staff learned valuable lessons. Districts must have an emergency management plan, provide accurate information, pursue alliances with media and agencies, issue daily press releases, develop a phone chain, and share the spotlight.


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